Help! Is my cherry blossom dying?

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by Eric Widarto, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Eric Widarto

    Eric Widarto New Member

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    Hi, I am new in this forum.

    I live and Richmond and something happen to my cherry blossom this year.

    In the past two weeks, I've noticed some leaves turn brown and the other leaves looks a bit light greenish.

    I've noticed lots of ants on the branches as well. Is my tree infected with something and how to cure it?

    Thanks a lot!!!
     

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  2. Chrissie1976

    Chrissie1976 New Member

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    Hi Eric. I only joined yesterday so I'm new too and still finding my way around. Hence why my first reply was to return your own message to you! Duhh, sorry. [Moderator comment - I deleted that; wcutler]
    I noticed from your photographs that there are holes in the leaves of your tree. Can I ask, did the areas where the holes are die before the hole formed? I can see one area with a brown edge around where part of the leaf is missing. The holes suggest a condition called 'shothole', which can have various causes. I expect you've looked to see if there are any other insects present, apart from the ants. Shothole is not too serious in itself, but I am more concerned about the withered brown leaves and the damaged areas of bark. Are there areas of bark which are misshapen and leaking a sticky brown liquid? If so, I strongly suspect that your tree has bacterial canker, which causes bark damage, the premature death of the leaves and shothole is also often a symptom. Bacterial canker is serious. If allowed to spread all the way around the trunk, it can kill the tree. The liquid is the sap, which will be rising at the moment and, being rich in sugars, explains why the ants are being attracted. The bacteria which cause the canker can enter in various ways, but can often be as a result of damage or incorrect pruning. If a whole branch is infected, I would recommend cutting it back nearly to the main trunk now, whilst the sap is still rising. This helps to the tree to resist infection by a fungal disease called 'Silver Leaf', the spores of which can enter through wounds. Do you live in Richmond in the UK? I don't know if there are any chemicals available to British gardeners for the control of bacterial canker, so I would strongly recommend consulting a qualified tree surgeon for advice. If it were my tree, I would do this as soon as possible. But beware of cowboys masquerading as 'tree surgeons'. In the UK there are many, as I have found out to my cost. Cherries are susceptible to disease if pruned incorrectly. I don't want to insult you but, if you want advice on the subject follow this link to the Royal Horticultural Society.
    Trees: pruning/RHS Gardening
    It gives general advice on pruning trees, but ignore the bit at the top that says deciduous trees are pruned in winter. Further down, it gives more detail on when to prune cherries.
    The whole tree photo shows plenty of green leaves, so I do think it is worth trying to save it. Good luck!
    Regards, Chrissie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2017
  3. Qazpal

    Qazpal New Member

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    I have a similar problem to Eric's but I already know what is affecting it; tent caterpillars. All the leaves have been eaten and I'm wondering if my cherry tree will survive.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. Chrissie1976

    Chrissie1976 New Member

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    Hi Eric.
    If the damage is due to tent caterpillars you should be able to see the silky 'tent' or pad, (in some species), they weave as a kind of nest. You probably would be able to spot the caterpillars themselves when they emerge to feed. But, with due respect to Qazpal, I would recommend you still get your tree checked. Whilst tent caterpillars can cause extensive leaf damage, the tree usually can survive their presence alone. But there is still the question of the bark problem you mentioned, which suggests something more serious is going on. The presence of ants suggests that sugary sap is oozing from the tree. Unless the bark has been damaged some other way, e.g. mechanical damage or another type of pest, then a bacterial or fungal pathogen would seem to be a more likely cause. There is also the question of what caused the dead leaves which, from your photograph, do not look as though they have been eaten first. Referring to my previous answer regarding the holes in the leaves. I know it's perhaps not easy if you are busy and do not have time to take notice, but 'shothole', which can be a symptom of canker, usually starts as discoloured patches on the leaf, which then become a hole. Pest damage to leaves usually results, at least at first, in clean margins to the holes although, over time, these holes may start to discolour around the edges. But if the damage is due to tent caterpillars, it should be relatively easy to find some freshly chewed leaves. Good luck.
     

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